Daniel Markowicz’s Polish-original action thriller ‘Bartkowiak’ may not be an extraordinary cinematic achievement, but the action-romance-crime blend is amply entertaining to fans. The movie is made with care and precision and is painted with an ambient and guiding sensibility. The story centers on boxer-turned-club owner Tomek Bartkowiak, who is compelled to run his family club after the death of his brother in an accident. But as the story progresses, Tomek realizes that there may be a larger conspiracy behind his brother’s death. The premise sounds quite plausible, but you may wonder whether the story is rooted in reality. In that case, allow us to keep you informed.
Is Bartkowiak Based on A True Story?
No, ‘Bartkowiak’ is not based on a true story. However, the social process of gentrification plagues most parts of the world, and therefore, the story assumes universal significance. Polish filmmaker Daniel Markowicz directs the movie from an original screenplay penned by Daniel Bernardi. The story is bound by a familial theme and a mentor-mentee relationship, and both of these aspects are explored in detail in the movie. While the film borrows tried-and-tested genre tropes in its pitting of a hapless man against an (almost) invisible corporate evil, it manages to create something fresh through its delicate dealing of the material.
The movie combines conventions from boxing movies, crime thrillers, and action romances to present its appetizing platter. As a boxing-themed chronicle centering on two brothers and infused with an air of crime, the movie reminds one of David O. Russell’s sports drama ‘The Fighter.’ But as the movie veers off to the crime thriller zone, the association becomes thin.
The story of gentrification is also quite on point, as it is somewhat rooted in reality. In the movie, the corporate agency Sanstal announces a renovation project called the Wozny Tower in an old neighborhood in the city, sparking a protest among the common masses. Coincidentally, according to a report published by The Guardian, the Polish capital city of Warsaw has gone through a process of rapid “re-privatization” since the onset of the twenty-first century. Consequently, most of the historic buildings that survived the bombing of the Second World War now stand dilapidated and vacant over disputed ownership, while some people benefit from the process.
However, the movie is mostly memorable because of its impeccably choreographed fight sequences. The actions are arguably one of the best in Polish cinema, and the dedication of the actors and stunt coordinators in bringing out the dynamism of the scenes shows in the movie itself. The MMA boxing match at the beginning is especially captivating. The credit goes to stunt coordinator Jarek Golec, who put his heart and soul into the project. The actors, especially Józef Pawlowski and Damian Majewski, were visibly committed to the boxing training, and both of them give stellar performances to make the movie a success. As a final verdict, the movie does not remotely claim to be based on a true story, though it still stands on quite firm grounds.
Read More: Bartkowiak Ending, Explained